This came up in my Facebook Memories today. It was posted by my daughter Kalissa.
“If heaven works like it should, I hope Ruby found Dad “
2019 was a tough year for me. I lost my husband in June from lung cancer. I lost my niece Jody who was more like a sister to breast cancer in September and I lost my seven-year-old beagle Ruby just a few days before Christmas.
I have to laugh when I see this picture as my husband was not originally on board to have a dog in the house. He, in fact, was very against it.
I had grown up with pets in the house. My parents always had a small house dog so I didn’t have a lot of the apprehension he did. He didn’t grow up a house dog.
When our kids were little we didn’t have a house dog…we did have a cat though. I’m not a cat lover…that was all for the kids.
When our youngest, Kalissa was about …13 or 14, I got the want to get a house dog. After raising five kids the house was starting to empty out and I didn’t like it. I love a busy house. He wasn’t on board.
I had gone so far as to figure out that I thought I wanted a beagle. They weren’t small yippy dogs that my husband didn’t like and they weren’t big dogs. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t on board.
At the time, Kramer and I had talked about possibly being foster parents for kids. He wasn’t all the way on board with that either. He was afraid we didn’t have time to “do it right”. We had kids right away after getting married and he was looking forward to some time to ourselves without kids. He wasn’t a hard no so I was hopeful over a bit of time he might agree.
Kramer had this “hard no” thing and a quiet “not his preference” mode. The “not his preference” I could often soften and talk him into.
Me…I wanted something to mother as the kids were leaving home. I’m a mothering sort. I’m sure you all have caught onto that if you’re a blog reader. Mothering is my thing.
At the time I was doing childcare in our home. One of my childcare moms was on her lunch break. She saw a lady walking about six dogs. She stopped and talked to her. It turns out she took on dogs, rehabilitated them, and then adopted them out. In the mix of dogs, she had a small black 9-month-old pup and she had a beagle. The childcare mom was so excited and offered to adopt the 9-month-old pup. I was excited about the beagle. They ended up getting the pup and still have him last I knew.
I talked to Kramer about the beagle and he outright said, “NO!”. Oh. I was so frustrated. We weren’t that kind of couple. We talked and people gave reasons for our opinions. We didn’t just cut each other’s wants right off. But, that’s exactly what he did. It was a NO! …I was peeved and later told him I was and why. We talked about it and smoothed things over. I left the dog topic alone.
About five weeks later the childcare mom came and said she saw the lady walking the dogs again. She told me that the lady said she was giving the dog to the Humane Society if she didn’t find a home soon. She asked the mom to talk to me and see if was interested.
DARN. I didn’t want the dog to go to the Humane Society. I finished doing childcare. I went and found Kramer out in the field driving tractor. I jumped in and told him the beagle was going to the Humane Society. Then I said, “We either need to get a dog or we need to do foster care for kids.”
Just like that Kramer said, “Let’s get a dog”…and that’s how I convinced him to get a house dog.
We got Gracie…she was my first beagle.
She was five when we got her. She was a great dog. She had some separation anxiety and would be crazy when we got home. Other than that, she did a great job warming Kramer up to thinking a house dog wasn’t the worst thing.
She died three years later. She had a mass on her kidney that turned out to be cancer.
Gracie was a master at posing on quilts. She’d do anything for a treat. She and I walked miles and miles and miles together. She loved going on walks.
She died in 2012.
Then we got a puppy. Kelli had friends who had a dog that had pups. We ended up getting Ruby. Gracie had warmed Kramer up to house dogs that he was okay with them. Ruby put him over the edge that he loved having a house dog. He would play with her when he came in from farming. She did a great job to help him wind down after work and he loved her.
Kramer used to lay on the floor every day at lunchtime and take a power nap…about a 20-minute nap. Ruby was always there cuddled up next to him. At the 20-minute mark, she would nudge him and wake him up. They’d play a couple of minutes and then Kramer would be off to work.
When Kramer got sick with cancer and was spending the days in his recliner. It was Ruby who was his constant. She was a bigger beagle so wasn’t the best lap dog…but that’s where she wanted to be. Often she’d be either on the footrest or by his side.
I’m so glad he warmed up to house dogs. I’m so thankful that Gracie led the way for Ruby.
Sadly Ruby was only 7 when she passed away. As of today, it’s been three years without her.
Now I have Rosie. She was a terrible puppy. Time and time again I wondered why I got her. She wouldn’t house train at all…and I’m diligent about that!! I was regularly frustrated with her.
She turned two and finally got better…then turned three and she’s wonderful. Between getting in-ground fencing and getting my new dog Izzy, she’s mellowed into a great companion.
I had tried to get a second house dog when Kramer was living. He always said one was enough. I was okay with that….then when he passed away, I decided that being he wasn’t here, I could do what I wanted….and that’s how Izzy ended up here.
I never in a million years ever thought I’d have a dog that wasn’t a beagle. She just weaved her way in. She is going really well. She’s smart and easy to train. She did have an accident in the house today. I think the terrible weather we are having was partially to blame. It’s like -30 below wind chill.
So…that’s how it got to be that I ended up being a dog owner…or rather the evolution of dogs at our house. I can’t imagine my life without a dog.
Someone said to me the other day that their dog was getting older and they thought that their current dog was probably going to be their last dog. Oh my. I hope I never get to that point. I really always want to have a dog.